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New Karaka village planned

SCOTT MORGAN
Last updated 13:40 05/02/2013
Norah Barlow
NEW HORIZONS: Summerset chief executive Norah Barlow is leading the company’s expansion into Auckland, including the new Karaka village.

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A new $70 million retirement village is being planned for Karaka.

Operator Summerset wants to build it on 3.6 hectares of vacant land next to the existing Karaka Lakes development on Hingaia Rd.

The village will have 160 dwellings and a 50-bed care centre. The resource consent process is about to start.

The company already has a presence in Auckland, with one facility in Flat Bush, a partially finished village in Warkworth and others planned for Hobsonville and Ellerslie.

Summerset chief executive Norah Barlow says the company has a particular focus on South Auckland because of its increasing elderly population. And she expects plenty of interest in the area.

"A retirement village attracts people from 5 to 10km away. Eighty per cent of people come from that area. They either live there, holiday there or their children live there."

Other residential and commercial developments are also proposed to go up nearby, she says.

"Karaka is identified as one of the key areas for Auckland growth. There are beautiful tracts of lovely land, which you don't have in many places.

"Auckland's growing like mad, people need places to live," Mrs Barlow says.

It is hoped the facility will complement what is already there, rather than dominate it.

"It's got that existing infrastructure and community feel.

"Hopefully the development will add to the vibrancy of it."

Summerset is expanding its presence into Auckland after focusing on the central part of the North Island.

"You can't and shouldn't ignore Auckland," Mrs Barlow says.

Facilities at the new village could include a bowling green, communal gardens and a hair salon.

Mrs Barlow is not sure if the Karaka or Hobsonville development will be finished first because it depends on the resource consent process.

But she would like to see construction at Karaka start this year.

Papakura Local Board member Michael Turner says the village will be a welcome addition to the wider area.

"Looking at the ageing population of Papakura, having an alternative is a good idea. There are a number of people who have been on waiting lists for places like Longford Park."

Mr Turner, who is also a real estate agent in the area, says he knows older people living in family homes who would like to go somewhere smaller but want to maintain semi-rural living.

"A lot of people are coming off farms. It gives them the opportunity to live just outside of town."

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- Papakura Courier

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